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coolant in engine oil

jvirtue's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 158

01-26-03, 02:05 PM   #1  
coolant in engine oil

1996 Ford explorer, 208,000 km

just back from an oil change and the technician found coolant on the drain plug...truck runs fine, no fluid leaks, I pray it isn't a cracked block...head casket?....any ideas?

thanks in advance....


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Joe_F's Avatar
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01-26-03, 05:25 PM   #2  
Wasted head gasket/cracked cylinder head. Has to come apart to assess what happened.

chukmac's Avatar
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01-26-03, 09:19 PM   #3  
Tech found coolant on drain plug? On outside of plug? Usually when coolant is comtaminating oil, oil is milky looking, and vehicle is losing coolant from radiator. Check dipstick for odd colored oil, and also check coolant level. Haven't worked on many newer vehicles, but seems as if water/oil mixture should be the same as 10 years ago.

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01-27-03, 12:05 AM   #4  
I agree...you don't just find coolant on the drain plug. A little normal condensation in the crankcase could cause a milky film on the plug (which indicates moisture). How has it been determined to be coolant rather than other moisture? Was the oil itself milky? If not, I wouldn't worry.

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01-27-03, 10:26 PM   #5  
One thing to add to what has already been posted.
You didn't state what engine, but if it is a V-6, there has been problems with intake gaskets on engines with aluminum intake manifolds. Often when the gasket lets loose, it will allow coolant to either the outside (shows as an external leak) or to the inside, where it leaks down the intake/lifter valley to the pan.
The best thing is to determine if the vcoolant leak is draining down the outside of the block to the pan, which it will since it is the lowest point, or if it is leaking to the pan and the plug is leaking.
A coolant pressure test will let you know how bad the leak is and should help detect where it is coming from. There are also leak detection dyes that you can put in the coolant to help identify the leak a little easier.

dirty dan's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2002
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01-28-03, 10:59 PM   #6  
I agree with chukmac and cheese, you won't really find coolant on the drain plug. The best place to find it is on the bottom of the Oil fill cap. Will look milky gray/brown. If you don't see it, check the coolant and run it awhile. Recheck both with in a week.

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01-29-03, 10:04 AM   #7  
I just reread the post. If you check with the technician they should be able to confirm that problem with a gas analyzer.

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Join Date: Jul 2002
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01-30-03, 07:10 AM   #8  
interesting you are posting your miles in KM, you must not be in the U.S.

Most likely is a the old tried and true 5.0/302. Few v6's made by ford will last that many miles.

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